Every once in a while it’s nice to throw restraint to the wind. This is why molten chocolate desserts, lipstick like red patent leather, and Douglas Sirk movies exist. To me, Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme, with its over-the-top nutty sweetness, fits this category.
Noir Pour Femme’s notes include mandarin, bitter orange, ginger, rose absolute, jasmine accord, orange blossom, Indian kulfi accord, Madagascar vanilla, amber, Australian sandalwood, and lentisque resinoid. (Indian kulfi is a rich, dairy-based frozen dessert; lentisque is an evergreen shrub; and a resinoid is the extract of a shrub.) Perfumer Sonia Constant developed it.
Noir Pour Femme is a gourmand oriental fragrance. At its heart is a thick woody-ambery tobacco scent — whether it actually has tobacco or if it’s a play of the notes, I don’t know — wrapped in hazelnut dust and bittersweet chocolate. It’s dense and sweet. If the fragrance’s core were an object, it would be a cocoa brown velvet mattress.
At the perfume’s edges are a bit of orange and a bare veil of rose and jasmine that don’t lighten the fragrance much, but that remind you that Noir Pour Femme is a perfume and not a cake. These floral notes are dwarfed by the fragrance’s whole package, though, sort of like a hippo wearing lacy socks. You see the hippo first.
Within an hour on my skin, the fragrance telescopes to a woody vanilla amber with robust sillage. In the heat, Noir Pour Femme could asphyxiate an entire tram’s passengers, but in cool weather it would wear warm and silky. It lasts about five hours before I have to press my nose to my arm for a hint of vanilla.
Although there’s definitely a time to indulge, sometimes eating the whole molten chocolate cake or living up to the shiny red lips for an entire day is too much. Like these things, Noir Pour Femme might be best taken in small doses. It’s easy to love, but easy to overdo. This is a fragrance I’d like to have in a mini or a 10 ml decant. I’d set it next to my mini of Chopard Casmir Parfum and wait for snow.
Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme Eau de Parfum is available in 30 ml ($85); 50 ml ($115); and 100 ml ($165) sizes.